DILG tells PNP to identify, sue perpetrators of fake news on kidnappings online
Robie de Guzman • December 17, 2019 • 806
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to identify and file charges against those behind the online postings of fake news and videos of purported abduction of individuals, especially minors, for organ harvesting.
Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, spokesperson for the DILG, said Interior Secretary Eduardo Año issued the directive amid investigation on the recent series of viral videos of separate alleged kidnappings of minors in Bulacan and Cavite.
Malaya said the PNP has confirmed that the latest viral video posted on Facebook of the supposed kidnapping of a 10-year old boy in Bulacan was fake.
He cited the result of Cyber Patrolling and Open Source Investigation of PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG), which found that no recent abduction transpired using a white van nor were there reported series of abductions lodged in police stations and news networks.
The alleged abductions of unidentified persons using a white van has been circulating in social media platforms as early as 2016 but were found to be a hoax.
He added that based on the PNP’s assessment of social media platforms, some individuals have capitalized viral news on alleged kidnappings to gain more likes, shares, comments and interactions from their Facebook followers for profit.
“There are unscrupulous people on social media who are doing staged videos of alleged abductions to sow fear among the people and to earn money,” Malaya said in a statement.
“We wish to remind the public that the perpetrators of fake news earn money from your likes, shares and comments. We understand that you think you are only warning your loved ones but you are also unintentionally spreading fear. Let us not embolden these people any longer,” he added.
The DILG official asked the public to be wary of fake news online and not to be quick in liking or sharing “unfounded and baseless videos.”
“If you have no personal knowledge of an alleged abduction or you are not sure of the source, we ask the public not to share or like it.” he said.
Malaya also urged the public to help suppress the spread of fake news online by immediately reporting the post, especially those may cause undue alarm and panic to the public, to the PNP-ACG hotlines 09985988116; Tel: +63 (02) 414-1560 and Fax: +63 (02) 414-2199.
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday clarified that it will be local health workers who will lead in the search and transfer to government quarantine facilities of suspected or COVID-positive cases who cannot comply with the minimum requirements of home quarantine.
In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said police will only be there to assist local government officials and health workers in the search and transfer of virus-infected individuals under the program, called “Oplan Kalinga.”
“Again, I wish to emphasize that the PNP’s presence in the conduct of the said program is purely for support and assistance to the LGUs who are taking the lead in defeating COVID-19 in the communities,” Año said as he dismissed claims of militarization since the military will have no role in this effort.
The DILG Chief said that he doesn’t understand why some quarters are speculating about the program since Republic Act 11332 or “An Act Providing Policies and Prescribing Procedures on Surveillance and Response to Notifiable Diseases, Epidemics, and Health Events of Public Health Concern,” specifies that collaboration with law enforcement is encouraged “to protect the people from public health threats.”
He said that Section 4 of the said law states that one of its objectives is expanding collaboration beyond traditional public health partners such as law enforcement entities.
“Itong ginagawa natin ay nasa batas. Sa pangangalaga ng kaligtasan at kalusugan ng ating mga kababayan ay maaaring makipag-partner ang local health authorities sa ating mga law enforcement,” he said.
He said that the local government unit, through its Local Epidemiological Surveillance Unit will be the one to visit the households with COVID-19 patients.
“Ang mangunguna dito ‘yung ating LGU at ang public health authority, pangungunahan ito ng city or local epidemiological surveillance unit kasi sila talaga ang mga expert dito. Pati’ yung resulta ng contact tracing, pati kung sino ‘yung tetesting, ililipat o ire-refer sa ospital,” he stressed.
He added that prior to going to residences, local officials already have the necessary list and identification of households with COVID-19 patients.
These patients will then be assessed if they can comply with the minimum requirements to be permitted to practice home quarantine.
The Inter-Agency Task Force earlier said that patients showing mild flu-like symptoms or asymptomatic are allowed to do home quarantine if he/she has a separate room where the patient can be confined; if the patient has his own comfort room; and if he/she is not living with people who are vulnerable to COVID-19 such as senior citizen and immunocompromised individuals, among others.
If these protocols cannot be observed at home, then the patient must be brought to a local quarantine facility.
Año assured the public that no rights will be violated as police officers’ presence will be limited to assisting in transporting patients and ensuring that lockdowns are imposed.
“We are very systematic naman in our approach. Bago pa pumunta sa lugar ay kumpleto na sila ng listahan at ng pangalan. Ito naman ay mga naka-PPEs (personal protective equipment) ‘yung ating health officials and health workers dito. Trained din naman ‘yung pulis para pumasok,” he said.
The DILG Chief urged the public’s cooperation by reporting households with confirmed COVID-19 cases and are currently practicing home quarantine despite not having the appropriate facilities.
“Kailangan po nating ipaalam sa ating mga autoridad ang mga ganitong kaso para sila po ay mailagay sa tamang pasilidad at doon magpagaling. Ito naman po ay para rin sa kapakanan ng buong komunidad at nang hindi na dumami pa ang COVID-19 cases,” he said.
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has allowed motorcycle back-riding for married and cohabiting couples beginning Friday (July 10) under certain conditions.
According to DILG Spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, a motorcycle rider must provide a protective shield in between him and his back ride and both must wear respective helmets and facemask.
“Kailangan po ito for safety purposes at for convenience na rin po. So instead na nakayakap tayo doon sa driver, dito na po tayo hahawak [This (shield) is for safety purposes and for convenience as well. Instead of directly embracing the driver, we will hold on to this],” Malaya explained as he demonstrated how to use the protective shield.
“So kailangan din solid din ito at naka-bolt o welded doon sa motor para maging safe for both individuals utilizing the motorcycle. [This (shield) must also be solid and bolted or welded on the motorcycle to be safe for both individuals utilizing the motorcycle],” he added.
Malaya said the DILG will release an official design of protective shield which shall be used as pattern for motorcycle riders.
“Ang importante lang po ay more or less ay sumunod tayo doon sa design na inaprubahan at ito po ay made of solid materials [What’s important is that we adhere to the approved design and it should be made of solid materials],” Malaya said.
Both riders must have a valid ID and a legal document that proves their relationship as a couple which may be presented at checkpoints.
“Pwede pong dalhin nila yung kanilang marriage certificate o kaya any government-issued ID na nakalagay doon sa likod na relationship at name ng mister o misis at address [They may bring their marriage certificate or any government-issued ID that bears at the back their relationship, the name of spouse and their address],” Malaya said.
However, Malaya clarifies that non-related back riders are still not allowed and violators will be apprehended and issued with citation tickets. MNP (with reports from Lea Ylagan)
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday reiterated its call on passengers not to go to the airports as they will not be allowed to go in if their flights and tickets are not confirmed.
In a statement, DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said strict health protocols are being implemented in airports amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and operations of airlines and other transportation companies are bound by these rules.
With the limited flights currently allowed to operate, Malaya stressed that “going to the airport without a confirmed flight or ticket is a waste of energy and time and will just lead to frustration.”
He advised passengers to contact the airlines to ensure that their flights are confirmed to avoid inconvenience.
He also reminded passengers that all tickets purchased prior to the pandemic have already been cancelled by the airlines and will need to be rebooked based on the new schedule of flights approved by airport authorities.
“Patuloy po ang paalala natin sa ating mga kababayan na huwag pong magpunta sa mga airport or seaports kung wala po tayong confirmed na flight,” he said.
“Mangyari lamang po na makipag-ugnayan kayo sa inyong airline kung confirmed ang inyong flight. Mapapagod lang po kayo sa biyahe at masasayang ang pera ninyo at mauuwi lang po ito sa wala,” he added.
Malaya also said that walk-in customers will not be able to purchase tickets at the airports as all flights are regulated in coordination with the airline companies.
“Even if you were issued a ticket by the airline, you will have to confirm that prior to going to the airport because there may have been some changes in flight schedules. Moreover, all tickets issued prior to the pandemic are canceled and will not be honored by airport authorities,” he said.
The Department of Transportation, through the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), earlier released an advisory requiring all airlines to secure accurate information, especially the contact details of all passengers, even those who purchased tickets from travel agencies, to ensure that they will be properly notified by the airlines if flights are canceled. Moreover, the said information may also be helpful in future contact tracing purposes.
The CAB also directed all airlines “to make appropriate public announcements advising individuals who have purchased tickets prior to the COVID-19 crisis that their flights are canceled and that they need to rebook accordingly.”
So far, only 29 airports nationwide are open for operation and even in airports allowed to operate, there are limited flight schedules upon the request of Local Government Units, the DILG said.
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